What is Cultural Epigenetics?

Přednáší: Alex Head
From Carpet Walking Bamboo Sharks to Seasonally Flowering Thale Cress, Alex Head will present his recent work exploring cultural mutation Vs cultural epigenetics. The outcome is the recently published book Ricochet, Cultural Epigenetics and the Philosophy of Change on Ljå Forlag (Oslo).
The study of causation between our environment and the genes we humans pass on to the next generation through epigenetic tags, is still very young. However, abusive or otherwise toxic environments during childhood have been shown to affect a person’s cell behaviour with consequences in later life and it is epigenetic silencing or activation that carries that abuse into the body’s cells. Culture, it is argued, alters not only our minds, but also the very bodies in which we live. It is important to note that the work of cultural epigenetics developed here argues for the determination of human biology by culture and not the other way around. That cultural expressions can be shown to replicate in cyclical patterns over time does not mean that they are inevitable.